[3.1] Firestorm Leech Tank

3.1 Update

The biggest change from the game mechanics perspective is that vaal pact no longer grants instant leech and instead doubles maximum amount of life leeched per second from 20% to 40% and leech speed is also doubled. Leech used to be a cornerstone of this build since other forms of defense are largely not available to Elementalist. The 40% limit can be pushed to 60% with the Soul of Arakaali pantheon perk. Overall this may still be viable, but my gut feeling is that it will not be sufficient to reliably tackle the end game content. If anyone is still willing to try it - the tree change is trivial, just go down instead of right for the vaal pact node, grab life and jewel sockets on the way.

To compensate for the vaal pact demise the build requires more layers of defense to remain tanky. This will require switching ascendancy class from Elementalist to Necromancer.

Here is what's good about the new build:

* Still very tanky: up to 75/75 block, up to 30% life leeched per second, plenty of life regen.
* Stun and freeze immune.
* The damage is just as good as before.
* Can now use T1 movement skill - shield charge.

And here is what's not so good:

* No longer can tank 99% of content, can still tank around 97% though.

*** Tree ***

I am currently using the following tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bG12

Ascendancy: Mistress of Sacrifice - Commander of Darkness - Spirit Eater - Beacon of Corruption

Bandits: Kraityn or points


Major: Brine King until you get Unwavering Stance, then Arakaali
Minor: Tukohama

*** Gear ***

Helm: Hrimnor's Resolve. Damage, armor, life, chill and freeze immunity.

Body: Anything with as much life as possible. Belly of the beast is still BiS but good luck coloring it to 5B1R.

Gloves: Rare, life and resists.

Boots: Rare, movement speed, life, resists.

Belt: Stygian vise with max life and resists.

Rings: life, cast speed, resists. Ideally get one Unset ring for the extra gem slot.

Amulet: Xoph's Blood is still by far best in slot here. Until then any rare amulet with life and resists and fire/spell damage / cast speed if possible.

Shield: Rathpith Globe or a shaper shield with spell block affix.

Weapon: Rare scepter with high fire spell damage, cast speed and added fire damage to spells. A scepter is required to be able to use shield charge and/or vigilant strike. A wand is acceptable for a start but eventually you will need a scepter.

*** Skill links ***

Firestorm - Spell Echo - Elemental Focus - Controlled Destruction - Fire Penetration - Concentrated Effect / Spell Cascade / Chance to Ignite

Blood Rage(1) - Desecrate(1) - CWDT(1) - Immortal Call(1)

Desecrate will auto create corpses for Bone Offering.
Blood rage will grant frenzy charges while mapping and also trigger the Soul of Arakaali 50% recovery bonus. It works because immortal call stops the blood rage degen.
Note: don't use blood rage until you update Soul of Arakaali with Arachnoxia.

Blasphemy - Warlords Mark - Enfeeble

Dual curse setup - leech and damage reduction


Cheapest aura to get the Commander of Darkness ascendancy benefits

From here there are two possible options for the remaining setup:


This is what I am currently using.

Shield charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Vigilant Strike/Leap Slam/Flame Dash

CWDT(15) - Bone Offering(17) - Increased Duration(20) - Tempest Shield(17)

Orb of Storms - Increased Critical - Arcane Surge(6)

Elemental overload and arcane surge trigger. Still needs to be cast manually.

Bone offering is slightly underlevelled and is put on CWDT. This opens up a slot for shield charge which is a fantastic skill for moving around while mapping. This also means that Bone Offering is not up 100% of the time which makes it more risky, but with a large enough life pool, fortify and possibly Rumi's flask it is justified.


With this approach Bone Offering is maximized an gets cast manually for 100% uptime. With the Soul of Arakaali bonus it grants over 1000hp on block.

Bone Offering - Arcane Surge(6) - Increased Duration - Empower

CWDT(1) - Tempest Shield(1) - Increased Critical(20) - Blade Vortex(1)

Automated Elemental overload generator.

Shield charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify

To squeeze shield charge in you will need to use 2 unset rings, one for clarity and another one for self cast desecrate.

*** Videos ***

Yellow tier Elder kill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRV8A7Vf8Fo

Abyss lich - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWVVbFYMEV4

T16 Chimera - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKygIf88gZk

The Purifier red map Elder guardian - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8eyJ2Ielpc

8 mod Core T13 map - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ-1OrwO9Ew

The Shaper - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMznZhybdUk

3.0 guide (obsolete)

Hello and welcome. This is the elementalist self-cast firestorm build, and the idea is to rely on leech as the main line of defence and survival, supplemented by several damage mitigation measures. This approach trivializes most of the content allowing to facetank almost everything in the game. See this twinned T15 boss encounter with extra damage and -max resists as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6CpDnKDUcQ

The build doesn't require any uniques - good league starter, easy to level and is SSF friendly.


Easy to level, fun to play
Plenty of damage, bosses melt
Reflect immune
Viable for anything. Everything dies.


Not a clearspeed meta

Build Theory


Firestorm is a duration AoE spell that randomly drops fireballs from the sky every 0.1 seconds.

We will scale up our damage through spell and fire damage, cast speed and duration.
The spell and fire damage bit is self-explanatory - we hit harder.
Cast speed allows us to stack up more overlapping firestorm instances.
Duration makes those instances last longer granting extra meteor impacts.

Damage per second cannot be calculated precisely as there is no guarantee that every single fireball will hit the target, but it can be roughly estimated as following assuming that half of the fireballs hit:

([single hit damage] * [casts per seconds] * [duration in seconds] * 10) / 2

So, using reasonably possible late gate numbers, peak dps can be estimated as 15k * 4.6 * 3.8 * 10 / 2 = 1.3 million.


Life leech - while we are hitting stuff and leeching, we can only be killed by one shots (or by lack of attention which tends to happen more often).
Physical damage reduction - Arctic Armour for 12% less physical damage, and up to another 8% less via pantheon power.
Elemental damage reduction - 8% less elemental damage through the paragon of calamity ascendancy; resists are dead easy to overcap.
All damage reduction via the Enfeeble curse - up to 42% less damage.


The playstyle is somewhat similar to the Icestorm builds since the Firestorm skill mechanic is pretty much the same. This also means that the build will suit those who used to like old Icestorm witch based build but don't want to switch to Marauder or prefer self-cast over the clunky CwC playstyle. Refer to the Videos section for gameplay examples.


Drop Orb of Storms every now and again to refresh Arcane Surge, Elemental overload and Mastermind of discord. Drop a Firestorm or two on a pack of mobs and run through them while they melt. Since Firestorm is a duration spell, it will keep hitting (and giving you HP) even when you move or got stunned. Stay close to the enemies to ensure they are affected by your Warlords Mark aura. Don't be afraid to get into the fray. Leech is king.

Map Bosses

Drop Orb of Storms and quickly stack up your Firestorms on top of the boss. Avoid telegraphed potential one shots. Once you break the 5k life limit, you should be able to facetank most of the map bosses.


I did all guardians and the Shaper deathless on first attempt.

Minotaur is pretty straightforward. Dodge his initial burrow attack, get in melee range (and stay in melee range so he doesn't burro again) and facetank. Make sure to use physical mitigation pantheons and bring basalt flasks.

Chimera attacks fast but doesn't hit very hard. He is easy to facetank and his minions are far more dangerous.

Hydra's attacks are slow and well telegraphed. Avoid the ice orbs and stay close to her.

Phoenix is a bit annoying cause he moves around quite a lot. Bring a ruby flask or two for the second part of the fight when the -max res debuff kicks in.

Read the "Guardians/Shaper gem setup" section below for some additional tips to make these fights easier.



I recommend the Hrimnor's Resolve helmet. Effectively grants freeze and chill immunity freeing up a flask slot, and adds some life, damage and resists. Alternatively you can get a good rare helm instead after you fully upgrade the Brine King pantheon.

Other than that, get rares, the most important stat is life (including flat strength) followed by resists and preferably armour.


Life, cast speed, resists. Bonus stats - spell or fire damage, flat mana, mana regen.


Dual wands or dual scepters. Get at least 10% cast speed on each and as much spell and fire damage as possible, flat added fire damage to spells is also highly desirable.

Wands are cheaper and easier to get and will take you all the way to T15 and possibly further.
Scepters give access to leap slam and fortify which is very helpful for the guardians and Shaper encounters. Scepters are a preferred option but not essential until late game.


Helm: Increased firestorm duration is the best offence bonus (15% MORE sustained damage). Enfeeble curse effect or Arctic Armour buff effect are the best defence bonuses.

Boots: Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently. I highly recommend getting this enchant as soon as possible.

Gloves: Commandment of Reflection.


6-7% life, 4%+ cast speed, 10%+ damage (spell damage, fire damage, area damage etc)


Life, Quicksilver, Silver/Stibnite, Basalt, Atziri. Wise Oak is a good option too.
Get Antibleed, Shock and Curse immunity on the utility flasks.

Endgame Gear

Upgrade your boots and gloves to maximize life, resists and armour.

The best in slot jewellery is the Xoph's Blood amulet which grants health and up to 30% MORE damage.

BiS chest is Belly of the beast.

Gems and links

Main attacking skill:

Firestorm - Spell Echo - Elemental Focus - Life Leech - Controlled Destruction/Concentrated Effect - Fire penetration

Quality of life - golems are summoned automatically. Immortal call for that physical damage spikes. I prefer using the specified gem levels as the golems are just buff pets and lower CWDT level gets them resummoned more often, but it is ok to level these gems all the way as well:

CWDT (level 15) - Flame Golem (level 16) - Lightning Golem (level 16) - Immortal Call (level 16)

The trigger for Elemental Overload, Arcane Surge and Mastermind of Discord. Arcane surge level should match your Orb of storms cost so it triggers on a single cast. Level 7 is for this 4 link setup at max level, early on you will need to keep it even lower.

Orb of storms - Increased Critical Strikes - Arcane Surge (level 7) - Blind/Culling strike

Curse on hit setup:

CWDT (level 1) - Ball Lightning (level 4) - Curse on hit - Enfeeble

Warlords Mark aura for the leech and Arctic Armour for the defence:

Warlords Mark - Blasphemy - Arctic Armour

Movement skill and Molten Shell for extra armour:

Flame Dash / CWDT - Molten Shell

Another option for the last two gem slots is Vaal Lightning Trap as a source of shock for boss kills.

Gem quality (in order of importance)

Blasphemy, Curse on hit
DPS gems - Firestorm, Spell Echo, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction, Concentrated Effect, Fire penetration
Increased critical strikes, Warlords mark, Blind

Guardians/Shaper gem setup

I'm still experimenting, but here is my current approach:

* Use enfeeble with orb of storms rather than with cwdt. This ensures that the boss is cursed at all times. This goes to the OoS item (3B1G):

Orb of storms - Curse on hit - Enfeeble - Blind

* The item that was hosting cwdt enfeeble (3B1R) is now used for movement skill (flame dash) and to trigger arcane surge.

Flame dash - Arcane surge - Efficacy - Increased duration

* If using scepters, get rid of immortal call, move cwdt-golems to one of the weapons and use the helm slots for the fortify setup:

Leap slam - Faster attacks - Vigilant strike - Fortify

Skill tree

Final tree

http://www.poeurl.com/bqXm (mirror)


Kraytin if you intend to go to really high levels (93+) or kill all otherwise.


Liege of the primordial - Pendulum of destruction - Mastermind of discord - Paragon of calamity


Major: Brine King
Minor: Tukohama for extra physical damage reduction or Yugul for elemental damage reflect maps (yes, we can easily do reflect maps with this + paragon of calamity)

Path Of Building

Very good, but not exactly mirror worthy gear, damage is calculated against the Shaper.


Leveling guide

Level with Firestorm


Firestorm - Elemental focus - Controled destruction - Faster casting (replace with Spell Echo when you get it). If you've got 5 links, add Chance to Ignite, replace with Fire Penetration when hitting higher levels. Use life leech gem after you get vaal pact.

Spell Totem - Flameblast - Faster casting - Controlled destruction. FB totem will make boss fights much easier. Drop it when you reach yellow maps.

Warlords mark - Blasphemy

Arctic Armour if no mana issues.

Flame golem, Lightning golem

(Optionally) CWDT - Immortal call - Increased duration

Flame dash

Leveling trees:

26 points: www.poeurl.com/buQX
Get the basics, life and damage. Use freezing pulse until level 12, then switch to firestorm. Links early on Firestorm + Arcane Surge (+ Added lightning damage if 3 links). Once you get to act 2, use Firestorm + Controlled Destruction + Arcane Surge (+ Elemental Focus if 4 links).

51 points: www.poeurl.com/buQW
Get more life and damage, AoE and elemental overload. Start using blasphemy + warlords mark as soon as you get it (level 31 for the blasphemy gem, get the warlords mark gem via the library quest). Do normal lab and get the Liege of the Primordial after you ascend, start using 2 golems. Move towards the scion life cluster on the tree.

Once you get the spell echo gem (quest reward), you firestorm setup should be the following: Firestorm + Controlled Destruction + Elemental Focus + Spell Echo.
Start using Orb of storm + Arcane Surge (+ Faster casting or Increased Crit) to trigger elemental overload.
Use Spell Totem + Flameblast + Controlled Destruction + Faster Casting during the boss fights.

85 points: www.poeurl.com/buQ2
Go straight to the Vaal Pact, it is the cornerstone of the build. Pick at least one skill duration cluster, get some life, get Whispers of Doom and start using Enfeeble, get more life.

Final tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXm
Get more life, more damage, second skill duration cluster, Skittering runes. Finish the tree.

Level with Flameblast totems and respec later

For the less experienced players I recommend leveling as a dual flameblast totem as it is stupid easy and requires almost no gear. I accidentally beat the game using the 3 link flameblast - I thought it was 4 linked but it was just part of the armour graphics that I thought to be the 4th link.

If you are not familiar with the flameblast totem gameplay: it is one of the hardest hitting skills in the game and will one shot most of the mob packs. Its power mostly comes from the skill alone requiring minimal gear investment early on. All you have to do is place your totems and dodge the attacks. Temporal chains curse aura will slow enemies to a crawl when they get close to you making dodging easy. Killing bosses is dead easy as the totems do it for you while you are chilling behind a column out of reach.


Spell Totem - Flameblast - Faster casting - Controlled destruction. If you've got 5 links, add Chance to Ignite

Temporal Chains - Blasphemy

Arctic Armour

Orb of storms - Increased critical strikes - Arcane Surge (keep low level)

Flame golem, Lightning golem

CWDT - Immortal call - Increased duration

Flame dash

** Important ** level these gems in your secondary weapon slots as you will need them later on:

Warlords Mark
Spell Echo
Elemental Focus

Leveling trees:

25 points tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXn (mirror)
Use freezing pulse first, then switch to firestorm. Get starting damage and life points.
Link arcane surge to flamedash, only level it to the point where it is still triggered by a single flamedash cast.

47 points tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXs (mirror)
Start using flameblast totem when you get it (level 28). Links are Spell totem - Flameblast - Faster casting - Controlled destruction (this setup will carry you to maps). Get Elementalist and Retribution nodes, Shamanistic fury and head to Ancestral Bond node. Start using Temporal Chains + Blasphemy for defence as well as Arctic Armour when you have enough mana sustain. Do the normal lab around level 35 (normal Izaro has been gimped a lot and is easy these days), get Liege of Primordial and start using 2 golems.

65 points tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXt (mirror)
Get elemental overload and start triggering it with the orb of storms (relink arcane surge to orb of storms). Pick up Mental Rapidity for cast speed and head to Heart of flame for damage, then pick up Cruel preparation life nodes.

95 points tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXy (mirror)
Head to Profane Chemistry through the Scion life cluster, then start moving towards Vaal pact. Keep accumulating currency and gear. Your flameblast gear is precisely the same as the firestorm one, so this should come naturally. Once you have at least 5 link chest (6 is highl recommended, tabula rasa will do), at least 4k life and fully capped resists, you are ready for transition into the final firestorm form. Unspec totem-related points, get Vaal pact, Whispers of Doom and Potency Of Will nodes. Then get Skittering runes for curse effectiveness, second duration cluster (Exceptional performance) then finish the tree.

Final tree: http://www.poeurl.com/bqXm (mirror)


Why no Mom?

MoM doesn't work well with facetanking builds, especially self-cast ones. If you invest 8 points to get MoM and a couple of mana nodes, you will end up with 2500 mana. Since mana leech is not instant, your mana intake through leech is limited to 0.2*2500 = 500 mana. Add 120 mana regen and subtract 280 mana you spend casting and you will end up with approximately 340 extra ehp through MoM *per second*. In reality you will simply run out of mana and die because you won't be able to cast and leech.

If you are willing to sacrifice 8 points to get some extra health, just get more life nodes. Life cluster next to vaal pact gives 500+ hp which is instantly recoverable through leech.


The Shaper

T16 Guardian of the Hydra

T16 Guardian of the Phoenix

Casual T13 Beacon run early in the league, Ele weakness, -9% max res, +40% mob hp, +37% mob speed

T15 Core

Tul's breachlord domain

Last edited by DirtyDot on Jan 19, 2018, 7:05:35 PM
Last bumped on Mar 17, 2018, 6:41:41 AM
getting a 502 bad gateway on the points tree
edit: fixed
Last edited by 7sFull on Aug 9, 2017, 1:39:33 PM
Added reserve tree links since poeplanner is not always stable these days
What's a reason for no MoM?
YerSar wrote:
What's a reason for no MoM?

This is a mana hungry build that also has over a half mana reserved. MoM is overrated for facetanking builds since mana leech is not instant. It is somewhat viable for CwC builds but this is not one of them.
Last edited by DirtyDot on Aug 11, 2017, 4:17:36 AM
First of all, thanks for creating this guide. Looks interesting for those not interested in zombies.

How do you think this build will perform against guardians?
zanth77 wrote:
First of all, thanks for creating this guide. Looks interesting for those not interested in zombies.

How do you think this build will perform against guardians?

I think the guardians are going to be fine as long as the gear is solid and there are no rippy mods. I am a fairly casual player and haven't reached them yet, but T14 maps haven't caused any problems so far, was able to facetank everything with 6k life.
Last edited by DirtyDot on Aug 11, 2017, 11:03:02 AM
This looks like a nice replacement for wi build! Will try :)
Last edited by H3avyM3tal on Aug 11, 2017, 11:21:51 AM
Added Videos section and first video demonstrating playstyle.
Hi, why don't we add some points to MoM and point to skill increase mana?

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